Why after Ten Years and $50B Spent is Cloud Adoption So Hard?

May 26, 2016 James Kessinger

Why After Ten Years and $50B Investment Why is Public Cloud Adoption So Hard?

We could have solved much of world hunger with that kind of money. But, we chose to better human-kind through cloud technologies. And yet, “moving to the cloud” in a meaningful way seems like an in-surmountable exercise for enterprises.

Here are the top four impediments to cloud adoption I have seen:

1. Analysis Paralysis

IT decision makers are inundated by cloud vendors’ calls to action. This leads IT organizations down a path of evaluating multifarious technology options and cost models. I have seen organizations making their initial move to the cloud by re-architecting applications for a cloud provider. Wouldn’t it be more advantageous to migrate your applications as-is and then re-architect?

Re-hosting is the industry term for “as-is” cloud migrations. The most successful cloud projects start with easy, small-scale re-hosting exercises.

2. Choosing a cloud provider that is lacking in features and vision.

There are literally 100s of Cloud Service Providers in any geography. Common sense tells us that we should consider the few with significant economies of scale. Among them, there are only a handful that have critical features and can deliver on their vision.

Be wary of steep front-loaded discounts. Migrate your first wave of applications (re-host). validate the provider’s features, performance and support.

3. Continuing manual migration efforts.

I hear from at least 3 customers a month whose cloud project failed due to tedious manual processes. There are tools of all flavors available for migrations into the cloud. The prices range from free to hundreds of dollars. Their capabilities also vary accordingly.

In my experience, no tool supports 100% of an organization’s requirements out-of-the-box. It is important to evaluate migration tools for:

  • Customization capabilities
  • Downtime requirement (during replication and cutover)
  • Process automation
  • Cloud orchestration

4. Not knowing how to operationalize cloud-hosted applications.

This is what IT management worries about: Can current operational process be re-purposed for the cloud? Can I offer the same or better SLAs than what I provide now?

This is an evolving landscape. There are many management software vendors that support hybrid cloud or public cloud providers. Let’s tie back to point #1. Re-host your applications to the cloud and figure out operational aspects before re-architecting for the cloud. This provides a stepping stone in the transition where an IT organization could use most of their existing tools and processes.

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